The soap opera of the takeover of Twitter by Elon Musk is experiencing a new twist. On Monday June 6, the billionaire threatened to withdraw his offer, accusing the company of not giving him the information he is asking for on the number of fake accounts on the platform. Back in five dates on the previous episodes.
► On April 14, Elon Musk launches his assault on Twitter
After claiming for weeks that he wanted to ensure that freedom of expression was respected on Twitter, Elon Musk formally launched his assault on the platform on April 14, putting on the table an offer exceeding 40 billion euros, or more than €50 per share. He had already acquired 9.1% of the company’s shares ten days earlier, on April 4, for nearly 2.5 billion euros. This transaction had already made him the main shareholder of Twitter.
The day after this announcement, Twitter’s board adopted the strategy of “poison pill”, supposed to make redemption more complicated. This is a clause allowing shareholders to buy additional shares in the event of a hostile takeover, thus blocking the process. This would inflate the number of Twitter shares and would slow down the billionaire’s takeover.
► April 21, Elon Musk shows white paw
Elon Musk demonstrates his ability to buy the social network for the first time on April 21, saying he has raised more than 43 billion euros. This sum comes partly from loans, contracted after several banks, including Morgan Stanley, but also from his pocket. To do this, the billionaire could sell shares of Tesla and SpaceX.
► On April 25, Twitter gives in
After trying to buy time, Twitter accepts an offer of more than 41 billion euros from Elon Musk. The social network should be withdrawn from the Stock Exchange later this year, in accordance with the wishes of its future new owner. Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, two banks advising the firm, believe the deal is “financially fair”.
Following this announcement, Twitter’s share price increased by 5%. However, the prospect of a sale of shares to finance the operation tumbles Tesla’s valuation by nearly 120 billion euros.
► On May 13, Elon Musk’s about-face
Elon Musk withdraws on May 13, announcing that his takeover of Twitter was” on break “as long as it would be impossible to determine the number of fake accounts on the platform. The latter cannot bring in money, and their number therefore influences the financial prospects of the company.
Legally, the agreement that unites the billionaire to the social network does not stop the process. It even provides for the possibility for Twitter to claim nearly a billion euros from the founder of Tesla if he backtracks.
► On June 6, Elon Musk keeps up the pressure
Elon Musk reiterated his threats in a letter sent by his lawyers to Twitter on June 6. According to them, the billionaire has regularly requested more information from the company since May 9 in order to be able to determine how many accounts were fake among the 229 million users of the social network. According to its CEO, the figure does not exceed 5%, a claim disputed by Elon Musk.